2 min read
A woman reaching into a refrigerator.

During this time, when most are social distancing and working from home, it’s important to use this time to learn or reinforce healthy habits, because let’s face it, YOU GOT TIME. Time is usually the culprit for why we can’t make healthy choices, we do have some time now where we can develop the healthy habit of meal planning.

Meal Planning Basics

Planning meals and snacks will help you reach your health goals. You can plan meals that meet your family’s dietary needs and address special restrictions. Planning also saves you time and eliminates the stress of figuring out what to cook.

Inventory – Check what items you already have in the refrigerator and cabinets. Knowing what you have on hand eliminates duplicate purchases, and helps to rotate your pantry items before they expire.

Variation –  When planning meals, keep in mind how the meal will look once it is plated. Use colors to plan meals, include fruits and veggies. Plan so you don’t use all brown foods, all soft foods, or even all hot items on the same plate. Vary the colors, textures, and temperatures for an appealing plate.

Leftovers – Think about how you can use leftovers for other meals. Reimagining leftovers in your meal plan can eliminate waste and reduce your food cost.

Savings – Plan meals around what is on sale to save money. Use coupons, sales papers or store apps to find what is on sale and try to build a meal around that. It may take a little practice to plan meals out so that they are nutritious, delicious, and economical, but you can do it, and You Got Time!

 

 

Watch the Spanish version of the video here.

 

Content below reflects the text in the graphics of the video:

  • Planning meals and snacks will help you reach your health goals.
  • Check what items you already have in the refrigerator and cabinets.
  • Use colors to plan meals, include fruits and veggies.
  • Think about how you can use leftovers for other meals.
  • Plan meals around what is on sale to save money.
  • Write down the planned meal ideas and create a grocery list of items needed.
  • Give meal planning a try. You got time.

 

USDA LogoThis material was funded by the USDA’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program – EFNEP. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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